Inform 7 for a point and click adventure

Im hoping to make a very dialogue heavy narrative graphical adventure and was wondering if inform7 would be a good fit? I’ve found vorple and other similar clients that can add more interactivity than a standard glulx client could so it seems technically possible. My question is if its a good idea, or if your advice would be to come at it from the other angle and add interactive fiction features to something like Adventure Game Studio.


While I haven’t worked with AGS, my guess is that it’ll be significantly easier coming from that side of things rather than starting from Inform. But do you have a specific sense of the sort of IF features you’d like to use?


The only reason to use AGS is if you want to move a character around the screen like a traditional point-and-click adventure. If so, AGS is your best answer.

If you think you might want to make a Myst-like game, then there are other, better tools for that experience.

If you simply want to display graphics, but have the focus be on text and choices being presented by text, Twine is a good tool to consider.

Ren’Py gives you that classic visual novel functionality.

Here is a more complete list of choice-based IF engines that lend themselves to mouse-driven control.

Authoring systems for choice-based IF - IFWiki

It’ll take a while to digest all those IF engine options. However, if you describe how you want your game to work (or tell us about an existing game that you want to mimic the feel of), we might be able to offer more specific solutions.


You can still create point-n-click adventures in Twine :wink:
Just need the good ol’ image-map for that :stuck_out_tongue:
(like this )


It may also be worth investigating if AGS can easily make the game playable on Mac and Linux. Also consider if the game should be playable in a browser (Inform) or you would require the player to download the game (AGS requirement), which could be the case if you want to sell your game.


The overall structure I’m imagining is that there’d be a cast of NPCs with their own houses and motivations. You can move between them and talk to them and sneak around and interact with the things in their houses. Meanwhile, world events are happening (a war) that you and the other NPCs all have opinions on and some influence over.

I was picturing having: a world model where you can walk between rooms and interact with the environment ala point-and-click adventures, myst, or parser games. This would be first person, so no need to have a character walking around on the screen, though it might be nice for that feature to be there to animate NPCs walking around. This would be mouse controlled, though I don’t think anything more sophisticated than imagemap would be needed. Maybe for clicking on animated things, though making animations is a hassle so this would be kept to a minimum.

In addition, there’d be NPC dialogue and worldwide events with a storylet structure with the options being CYOA. There’s be a world model tracking how the NPCs feel about each other and what important global events are happening. Solving puzzles in the world and choosing certain dialoge options in the past would also factor into what options are available in the moment.

I’ve worked with inklewriter and sqiffy in the past, and while its certainly possible to fit a world model like that in, it doesn’t seem to be designed for it, so I’d be adding both that and the graphics. I haven’t used twine but that seems similar.

AGS has everything out of the box if the game is meant to look like an old school Lucas Arts game, but not nearly as sophisticated a dialogue engine.

Inform7 I have not used, but it seems cool and has a lot of features relating to having both a world model and CYOA style dialogue but not as much with graphics or myst puzzles. I’m not really using the parser much, so this might be overkill.

And I can compromise on platforms, Web + PC is ideal but if there’s a perfect tool, PC only is fine.


Sounds like you want a 2D game engine to support layered graphics (actors/objects in front of the background), drag and drop, a visual editor to layout environments and interfaces, maybe some animation capabilities, etc.

Godot is my recommendation if you are not turned off by a scripting language to make things work. You can still lay things out visually though and make locations or story elements as separate scenes. Requires a programming mind though.

Alternatives that cost a little bit are Gdevelop and Construct3. I’ve heard good things about Gdevelop. I’m only casually familiar with both of those tools though, but they seem much more beginner friendly (with no-code functionality) so that might be the biggest selling feature. All are free to try out. You might find a video online of how to build a myst-like game in either of those engines as well. Also, a long time ago, I played around with Click Fusion. That might be worth looking into as well.

(And don’t worry about suggestions online to use Unity. That’s overkill.)


Something else for consideration.

If styling the text in many ways is critical for your game’s presentation, then HTML output solutions might be the deciding factor. The text rendering capabilities of browsers are unmatched. CSS is a typography godsend in this digital world. If you go the 2D engine route, make sure you can style text in the middle of a paragraph easily.